Trump, 73, spoke at one point about prescription drug costs, addressing the room (and in turn, the country).
“In order to get something on drug pricing done and done quickly and properly, I’m calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices,” he said, continuing, “Get a bill on my desk and I will sign it into law immediately.”
The promise was met by many in the room standing and applauding — but some Democrats in attendance, including most of the women lawmakers dressed in white in solidarity, stood up and proceeded to chant the name of a bill already on the table while holding up three fingers: “H.R. 3! H.R. 3!”
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WATCH: Democrats chant "HR 3," referencing bill on drug prices, in response to President Trump's call for legislation to lower prescription drug prices. pic.twitter.com/zqbUvoldWB— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 5, 2020
The H.R. 3 bill — also known as the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which was supported by Democratic Maryland Rep. Cummings, who died in October — was passed by the House in December but has yet to be considered by the Senate, the Associated Press reports.
If passed into the law, the bill’s description on speaker.gov states that H.R. 3 would give “Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies” and make “the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.”
It would also prevent “drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs,” introduce “a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries” and “[reinvest] in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments.”
In effect, the Democrats were accusing the Republicans of hypocrisy by not taking up the bill they had already passed to address the problem of drug prices.
RELATED VIDEO: Protesters Loudly Chant ‘Kill the Bill’ and ‘Shame’ as Senate Prepares to Vote on Health Care Bill
There were other tensions between President Trump and the Democrats in Congress on Tuesday. He is currently on trial in the Senate after the House’s Democratic majority impeached him over his Ukraine scandal, alleging he abused his power and obstructed Congress.
Trump ignored House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s offer of a handshake when giving her a copy of his State of the Union address, and she was later seen shaking her head “no” when he told the assembled senators and representatives during his speech, “I keep my promises.”
As soon as he was finished addressing Congress, Pelosi, 79, stood and began tearing up her copy of his remarks.
The highly unusual moment — a reflection of the tension between House Democrats and the president, whom they impeached over his Ukraine scandal — took observers and TV pundits by surprise. Trump supporters and the White House quickly slammed the move as disrespectful.
Afterward, Pelosi told reporters, “It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative” and that Trump had made a “dirty speech.” She went on to address the incident on social media.
“Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople. We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot. #SOTU,” she tweeted along with a photo of her trying to shake Trump’s hand.